Graduate releases book on wife’s illness

Reverend Wesley Thompson, a UNA graduate, released his first book July 22, which details his experience during his wife’s treatment for a rare disease.

Thompson said the book, titled, “In Sickness and In Health: A Story of Love, Strength, and Faith,” originated from a blog he created during his wife’s hospital stay to both give family and friends updates and serve as a way of dealing with his emotions.

Audrey Mitchell, director of housing and residence life for facilities and environmental services at UNA, said she kept up with the blog because she has known Thompson and his wife since meeting them through various organizations at UNA.

“There were some very dark days (for them),” she said. “However, God did a mighty work in (Thompson) and his family, and I thank God every day (that) I was able to witness it.”

Thompson began writing the book in Feb. 2016 after deciding that sharing the story in a bigger way needed to happen.

“Our story was just too amazing,” he said. “It shows how life can go from going great one day to all of a sudden chaotic the next day, and going through that process.”

Thompson said through the book, he talks to four different audiences: husbands, fathers, men and pastors.

Joan Williams, director of the office of diversity and institutional equity, who worked with Thompson in the Black Student Alliance, said the story is both moving and inspirational.

“To see how God has used (Thompson’s) story to help others is amazing,” she said. “It is so inspiring to see how such a young couple is handling all of this with tremendous faith and grace.”

Thompson graduated from UNA in 2010 with a bachelor’s degree in political science and a minor in philosophy and religion.

He met his wife, Le’Tanndra Thompson (then Davis), on campus through Greek life.

After getting married, they moved to Atlanta and became pregnant with their first child in June 2015. However, about two months later, Thompson had to rush Le’Tanndra to the emergency room for an unknown sickness.

“I thought we would be home that night, but, to my surprise, we didn’t come home until four months later,” Thompson said.

Le’Tanndra was found to be suffering from a disease known as anti-NMDA receptor encephalitis.

According to the Anti-NMDA Receptor Encephalitis Foundation, Inc. website, the disease occurs when antibodies attack NMDA receptors in the brain and can cause tumors of the ovaries.

Thompson said only around 1,000 cases have documented the disorder so far.

While it is treatable, a major risk for Le’Tanndra was her pregnancy, as she required chemotherapy, steroids and plasma transfusions.

Thompson said since the treatments would need to be more aggressive to help her get better, the decision was to have an emergency C-section at 28 weeks.

During surgery, doctors managed to find the source of the disease, a tumor on her right ovary, and remove it.

After a bout with pneumonia, Le’Tanndra finally got to come home with her husband in December.

Thompson said while it does take a few years to recover, she is doing good and is helping him raise their two sons: Miles, who survived the C-section, and their newest, Bradley, now over a month old.

“The beauty and power of God can be found out of the most ugliest and darkest places sometimes,” he said.

He currently serves as the pastor of Bethel Colbert Missionary Baptist Church in Leighton and continues to update his blog through both Google and his website,

Thompson’s book is available for purchase through Amazon or his website.